Double-Depping at the cinema

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Back in the ‘90s I’d be running around in circles like a happy puppy if there were two Johnny Depp movies out in the cinema at the same time. I know he doesn’t really care about what anyone else says, and does what he does but these days, but while I still love the man, I can’t say I’m as crazy about his projects as I used to be.

This past week, both Into the Woods and Mortdecai were screening. After Lone Ranger, Public Enemies, The Tourist and Rum Diary didn’t quite meet expectations—or at least have that Depp magic about it—I’ve been wary about what I might see on the silver screen.

Into the Woods is actually a successful adaptation of the stage musical written by Steven Sondheim (West Side Story, Sweeney Todd) and James Lapine. Emily Blunt is a revelation, and clearly no one can touch Meryl Streep here. Johnny Depp only appears for several minutes as The Wolf and then he’s gone. Key archetypes and characters from beloved fairy tales get intertwined in each other’s stories, things take dark twists and suddenly we’re reminded of truly being careful of what we wish for.

Mortdecai earns the distinction of being Johnny Depp’s lowest rating film on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s currently at 12 percent. (I feel I also have to mention Taken 3 is in at 10 percent.)

Aristocrat and art lover Charles Mortdecai must cooperate with British law enforcement to help solve a murder and recover a lost Goya. This takes him around the world with his faithful manservant Jock (Paul Bettany) from one misadventure to the next.

I was mildly amused. It reminded me of these madcap 1970s romps with Peter Sellers—particularly his Pink Panther installments. Our group of four was laughing at the gags, plus we got a bonus: Filipino thespian Junix Inocian figures in the first scene with Johnny Depp. According to Junix, they shot it at Pinewood studios and he had a lot of fun.

Some kids may be disappointed to find out what Into The Woods has done to their fairy tales while older moviegoers who remember ‘60s and ‘70s comedies may take to Mortdecai more than the younger set as well.


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